Codename Cupcake

Codename Cupcake

October 9, 2015
GenreAction/Adventure, Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Women's
Audience Adult
Format Book Length Manuscript
Type General Fiction
Word Count 60-80k (average/short)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Published Through Amazon Createspace – KDP
Marketed by Jennifer Prost PR
Displayed & sold at Watchung Booksellers

Reviewed on February 15, 2016

Review by Lynne Hinkey

The Rundown

Molly Peterson is perhaps the underachiever of all mothers, with no inclination to go up against the Laura Ashley-clad picture-perfect PTA moms at her children’s schools. On her youngest child’s first day of pre-school–and Molly’s first day to herself in seven years–she slips into the city for a few hours to herself. The opening bus ride scene and subsequent recounting of her morning sets the story’s tone with a few good chuckles at Molly’s understated observations of herself and the world around her, making her an imminently relatable character.

Later, while waiting impatiently to grab lunch from a hotdog cart before racing back to pick her daughter up from school, a would-be armed robber cuts in front of her. Molly’s “mommy-reflexes” kick in and she disarms the teenager. It’s all caught on someone’s cell phone and before long, Molly is being hailed in the media as a superhero Mom. She’s recruited by a super-secret spy agency and tasked with her biggest nightmare: infiltrate the PTA to uncover the mysterious cooling of her son’s school building.

Molly, codename “Cupcake,” sets about solving the mystery with her souped-up mini-van, enhanced “mommy powers,” and the help of a nosy neighbor and her SSO (“Super Secret Organization”) handler, the unassuming Morty Fleischman.

The plot contains very little in the way of clues, hints, or red-herrings that would help the reader solve the mystery. Everything comes together more-or-less by accident and coincidence. The ultimate solution is underwhelming and the villain’s identity predictable, and the explanation for the school’s fast-cooling temperature is particularly unsatisfactory, with no attempt at a scientifically plausible explanation (or name) for the mysterious gooey substance that’s at the root of the problem. The strength of the book is not in the plot, but in Molly’s snarky take on picture-perfect room mothers, the PTA, and motherhood in general. The character’s strong, casual voice carries the narrative and brings the reader along on her wild ride.

Codename Cupcake is an entertaining send up of motherhood, the PTA, and superheroes. Readers looking for depth and substance will be disappointed by the deus en machina plot resolution. The half-hearted effort to connect the story’s dots feels more like a rushed attempt to wrap things up than an actual, well-thought out plotline. But, for anyone looking for light-hearted read that doesn’t tax the mind and is filled with chuckles, Codename Cupcake is a good choice.


The Recommendation

This is a fun, fast read filled with enough gadgets and wisecracks to satisfy fans of “Get Smart” type thriller-spoofs.  Readers looking for well-crafted mystery with depth, plausibility, and edge-of-your-seat excitement might want to look elsewhere. Despite swinging from predictable (the villain) and implausible (the solution), Codename Cupcake is well-written and filled with plenty of humor, making it a good choice when looking for a lightweight diversion.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars

4 Stars (out of 5): Recommended. For the right audience, this book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Characterization, Dialogue, Humor
Cons: Plotline, Suspension of Disbelief

Author’s Summary


CODENAME CUPCAKE is the story of Molly Peterson, frazzled suburban mom who takes her first day “off” from full-time parenting to visit New York City. When she witnesses a crime in progress, Molly’s mommy instincts kick in and she instinctively grabs the gun out of the would-be criminal’s hand, just as she would take any dangerous object away from a child.

With that, her life changes forever.

Recorded by a bystander’s iPhone, the “hero mom” video goes viral and Molly becomes an instant, albeit reluctant, celebrity.  But the real fun begins when a super-secret spy agency recruits Molly. At first she is thrilled:  super powers! An “enhanced” mini-van!  Secret tunnels from New Jersey to Manhattan spy headquarters! Life is great!

But then she is given her assignment:  to infiltrate the PTA at her son’s elementary school. She must join every committee and volunteer at every event in order to be in the building enough to find out why Midwood Elementary School is getting chillier and chillier, discover who is behind the dangerous cooling trend, and prevent a potential calamity.

Molly is completely on board for the spying part.  It’s the PTA part that she dreads.

CODENAME CUPCAKE is a hilarious send-up of parenting, PTA moms and dads, PTA avoiders, spy novels, and comic books. Readers will cheer for Molly as she grapples with both the ordinary and the outlandish in her new life as a super-mom.

Short Description

Molly Peterson is a frazzled mother of two who is recruited by a super spy agency to infiltrate the PTA at her son’s elementary school. This book is a send up of motherhood, the PTA, comic books and spy novels. Its underlying message: life is better when you have superpowers.


An old fashioned suburban mom turned superhero spy novel

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